1. FC Union Berlin missed the first Champions League victory in the club’s history despite a 2-0 lead and continued its series of defeats on the European football stage.

In front of a huge crowd of 73,445 fans in the Berlin Olympic Stadium, the Köpenickers had to admit defeat to SC Braga 2:3 (2:1) shortly before the end of the game on Tuesday evening. After two matchdays in Group C, the Iron Men are last with zero points.

Sheraldo Becker (30th minute/37th) scored Berlin’s celebrated premiere goal in the premier class. Sikou Niakaté (41st), Armindo Bruma (51st) and André Castro (90th 4) turned the game around.

Goosebumps in the Olympic Stadium

In order to offer as many Union players as possible a ticket, the capital club moved to the venue of local rivals Hertha. And the bowl in the west of Berlin has never shone as red as it did on this Tuesday evening. In front of the stadium, fans stuck over Hertha stickers with Union symbols, and the Köpenick flags flew from the roof. Even the blue tartan track was completely covered by red tarpaulins. “I would put on the soccer shoes again,” enthused coach Urs Fischer about the goosebumps backdrop. For many fans there were delays in their arrival because climate activists had blocked access roads to the stadium.

Arriving at the arena, fans saw a brave start from their team. There was no trace of uncertainty after five competitive defeats. National player Robin Gosens hammered the ball into the net from close range after four minutes. But teammate Becker was offside during the pass. The cheering in the stands quickly died down.

Union was unimpressed by the goal being taken back, but initially treated its chances carelessly. After Kevin Behrens failed from a promising position, Becker finally took advantage of his second big chance after a counterattack – and scored the first Champions League goal in the Union club’s history. Now the captain really turned up the heat and finished confidently after the next perfect counterattack. The efficiency that was missing in the Bundesliga was back. The goal conceded by Niakaté came out of nowhere.

Braga with a winning goal in the last second

After the break, the guests from southern Europe pushed for the equalizer. Not much came of the game, so a well-rehearsed standard had to help: After a long corner, the ball landed at ex-Leipziger Bruma, who shot the ball into the corner of the goal from around 25 meters. Union was unsettled. The self-confidence from the initial phase was gone.

The game tipped over and Union had more and more problems with the Portuguese’s offensive game. Goalkeeper Frederik Rönnow (61st) prevented a deficit. Now the players with Champions League experience were particularly required and coach Fischer brought in Kevin Volland. The center forward, who has already made many premier league appearances with Bayer Leverkusen, promptly finished from a central position, but hit Braga keeper Matheus exactly (70th).

Cheered on by loud chants, the Iron team ran tirelessly in the final phase. But Brenden Aaronson (86th) only headed next to the goal. Braga defended passionately and even managed to win at the last second with a low shot from Castro.